More than 200 IEU and NSW Teachers Federation members gathered in solidarity at Batemans Bay Soldiers Club.
IEU members came from Carroll College at Broulee, St Bernard’s Primary School at Batehaven, St Mary’s Primary School at Moruya, and St Bede’s Primary School at Braidwood.
Retiring IEUA Federal Secretary Chris Watt and his wife, Margaret Watt (pictured bottom right) were welcomed to the rally, as was John O’Neill, IEUA NSW/ACT Executive member.
The IEU rep at Carroll College Broulee, Wayne Foster, spoke of the importance of salary justice for support staff in Catholic schools.
“The problem is simple,” he said. “Our support staff are paid less than their government school counterparts. This is wrong. We call upon our Catholic school employers to fix this problem.”
IEU Assistant Secretary Pam Smith spoke about the stresses of uncompetitive salaries, unsustainable workloads and the frustrations of teacher shortages as schools scramble to ensure students have qualified teachers in their classrooms every day.
At one local school, the principal and other leaders routinely teach classes and specialist staff are unable to support students in need as they are often covering other classes.
While Catholic systemic principals couldn’t participate in the stop work action because they are covered by a different agreement, their strong support was conveyed to the meeting.